Most religious founders had enormous love and compassion for the poor. Jesus fed the 5,000 who had gathered to hear him rather than preach to a hungry audience. However, American politician, Representative Jack Kingston (Republican Party, Georgia) has a plan that can only humiliate school children from poor families. Now, remember that it is not a child’s fault if he or she is a member of a poor family!
Memories of Charles Dicken’s “Oliver Twist.”
Most people are aware of the disgust Charles Dickens had for the powerful who abused the poor. In the novel, “Oliver Twist” Dickens has a scene where a child (Oliver) in the workhouse asks, “Please Sir, may I have some more food.” This elected politician is proposing that kids learn that there is “no such thing as a free lunch!” He is proposing that low-oncopme children do some manual la tour in ethan be for their subsidised meals.
So let’s look at this. I’ll make up some names, Jenny and Freddy. They are both from low-income homes. Jenny has four siblings and no father. She is being raised by a single-parent mother. She already is getting bullied for her hand-me-down clothes and hair that her mother cuts for her. She seldom gets to go our for treats in restaurants or taken on trips. So, let’s have Jenny sweep the halls of the school. That will teach her a lesson about being poor!
His home is in a caravan park. He is the oldest of three kids. Dad picks up jobs when he can, but most of the earned money goes on alcohol. Freddy’s mother prepares the evening meal before she goes out cleaning offices at night. When dad is sober, he helps with putting the younger children to bed. When dad is not home, Freddy has peace. When dad is home and drinking, he is in a bad temper or the television is so loud that Freddy cannot do his homework. Freddy is smart and respected for his learning in class. He plays sports and this has made him popular. Freddy’s next door neighbour gives him clothes that her nephew does not wear. Freddy goes to school in nice clothes. Freddy’s teacher respects her student and always makes sure that the other students do not know that he receives free lunch vouchers. Now, she has become aware that Freddy might be singled out (amongst others) to sweep the school or assist the janitors. She knows that this will have a very negative impact on a kid that is studying so hard and with a goal to do well in high school.
Here is what the Christian -Politician, Jack Kingston- said:
“But one of the things I’ve talked to the secretary of agriculture about: Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria — and yes, I understand that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money. But think what we would gain as a society in getting people — getting the myth out of their head that there is such a thing as a free lunch,” he said.
The Protestant Work-Ethic
Jack Kingston might be able to use his words against adults who are lazy and refuse to work. However, this is a choice – an adult choice. Children of poor families – do not have a choice. They have no control over their poverty. It is NOT their fault if they do have lazy parents, or parents who cannot hold down jobs, or parents with addictions, or single parents. Why would you add another HURT on the backs of these innocent kids. I would bet that the kids of most poor parents are calculating and planning how to not fall into the same trap or scenario. Yes, there are generational-welfare families, but most people fail to realise that these are in the minority. It is worth noting that perhaps five years ago, I was in this politicians state of Georgia. A waitress at the Denny’s chain of restaurants told me she was earning $2.85 her hour. I doubted her and went on the internet. It was true. If she moved to Florida she would have been wealthy at $3.00 per hour. UPDATE: As of February 10, 2017 the minimum wage in the state of Georgia is $5.15. So poor parents work for 10 hours @ $5.15 per hour and come home with $51.50 less tax!
Jack Kingston I suggest that you visit the poor people of your electorate or read the Bible. Jesus loved the poor and treated them with respect. Jesus told his disciples, “You knew me not.” And then went on to explain that he was disguised in the prisoner, widow, the poor and victims of society.
P.S Oh, please Jack Kingston if this bill passes, please do not ask the kids to clean before lunch time. In all likelihood, these poor kids will not have eaten breakfast!